I learned at their 50th wedding anniversary that Grandpa and Grandma had eloped. Not only that, but they had to marry in Missouri because Grandma wasn't old enough to marry in Iowa. And to top it all off, they kept the marriage a secret -- for a while.
They got the idea from high school friends who claimed to have married secretly in Missouri. Grandpa borrowed his brother's car and set out for Missouri with Grandma and their 'secretly married' friends. Along the way, their friends told them that they hadn't really married, but Grandpa and Grandma decided to get married anyway. They got stuck in the snow either on the way there or on the way back but managed to get the car out and continue. When they returned to Keota, they each went home and told no one what they had done.
According to Grandma, Grandpa finally told his parents that he was married to Charlotte by tossing the marriage license on their kitchen table and running out of the house!
From: Alex Fagen
Walter Fagen, Jr. Dies September 4
Walter Fagen Jr., 71, of Sigourney, died Sun., Sept. 4 at University Hospitals in Iowa City. He was born Feb. 9, 1917 in Keota, son of Walter and Mabel Rowe Fagen. He was married to Charlotte Kirkpatrick on Feb. 15, 1936 at Kahoka, Mo. He worked for Montgomery Ward and farmed until they moved to Sigourney in December of 1951. He was a partner with his brothers, Wallace and Donald, in the Sigourney Elevator in Sigourney and Fagen Elevator in Keota. He managed the Sigourney Elevator for 16 years, then went into farm sales, auctioneering and real estate. He was pastor of Atalissa and Abingdon Churches of Christ for several years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and one great-grandchild.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; five daughters, Ann Kerkove of Sigourney; Joan Clement of Preston, Minn., Connie Eggleston of Janesville, Wini Frances of Monroe City, Ind., and Mary Joyce Johnson of Fridley, Minn.; two sons, Walter Edward Fagen of Oskaloosa and Peter K. Fagen of Clovis, Calif.; 27 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Margaret Poole of Des Moines; and three brothers, Wallace of Sun City, Ariz., Burrell of Anamosa and Donald of Keota; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are today (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ in Oskaloosa with Victor Knowles of Carthage, Mo., and Dale Knowles of Rockport, Mo. officiating. Casket bearers are Rick Kerkove, Dave Clement, Kirk Eggleston, Justin Johnson, Jason Johnson, Tom Eggleston, Alex Fagen and Johnathon Frances. Burial is in Garrett cemetery with the Holm Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Walter Fagen, Jr., the son of Walter and Mabel Rowe Fagen, was born Feb. 9, 1917 in Keota, Iowa.
He was baptized into the church at nine years old. He was graduated from Keota High School in 1933. He married Charlotte Kirkpatrick February 15, 1936 at Kahoka, Mo. He worked for Montgomery Ward and then farmed until they moved to Sigourney in December, 1951. He was partner with his brothers, Wallace and Donald in the Sigourney Elevator in Sigourney and Fagen Elevator in Keota. He managed the Sigourney Elevator for 16 years, then went into farm sales, auctioneering and Real Estate. He was pastor at Atalissa and Abingdon, Iowa, Churches of Christ for several years. He enjoyed singing and sang for many occasions.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Everette and an infant
brother, and one great-grandchild.
Those left to mourn his passing are his wife, Charlotte; five daughters, Ann Kerkove of Sigourney, Joan Clement of Preston, Minn., Connie Eggleston of Janesville, Ia., Wini Frances of Monroe City, Ind., and Mary Joyce Johnson of Fridley, Minn.; two sons, Walter Edward Fagen of Oskaloosa, Ia.; and Peter K. Fagen of Clovis, Calif.; 27 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Margaret Poole, Des Moines, Ia.; and three brothers, Wallace of Sun City. Ariz., Burrell of Anamosa, Ia., and Donald of Keota, Ia., and several nieces and nephews.
WALTER FAGEN, JR.
Born February 9, 1917
ENTERED INTO REST
September 4, 1988
Church of Christ
Wednesday, September 7, 1988 at 2:00 p.m.
Victor Knowles, Carthage, Mo.
Dale Knowles, Rockport, Mo.
Greta Richey - pianist
Recorded Music - Walter Fagen, Jr.
Rick Kerkove - Jason Johnson
Dave Clement - Tom Eggleston
Kirk Eggleston - Alex Fagen
Justin Johnson - Jonathon Frances
Holm Funeral Home
Funeral Service for Walter Fagen - Wednesday, September 7, 1988
A portion of one verse of Scripture I use as a preface to this funeral message - "For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:l4)
Prominent in the course of human history is the matter of life and death. Life should rightly be considered as a gift from God.
The power of choice is also a God-given gift, to be employed as each individual determines the way his or her life shall be lived, for good and right to the betterment of self, or for evil and wrong to the detriment of self. It Is evident that of the two choices some have selected the one way, and some have selected the other way.
It is to the benefit of us all that Jesus both taught and demonstrated the better way to live. In His life He determined that obedience to the will of God was His daily concern. Never once did He fail in that. He said, "I do always those things that please Him." (John 8:29)
In His life He also successfully resisted every temptation to do a single thing that was contrary to the will of God.
This is the better way to live. This is the wiser choice to make. This is the way Walter Fagen strove to live. This is the sensible choice he made.
As Jesus was honest, courteous, compassionate, gentle, kind, warm hearted and friendly, so was Walter, because he lived to be like Jesus.
Walter was a man with a smile, with a good handshake, with an unfeigned word of welcome. He lived as an honorable husband and father in a family that deserves due recognition for the Christian traits that Walter and Charlotte instilled in their hearts and lives as they grew up in the parental home.
Walter and Charlotte were hospitable people. How many others than myself have been entertained at their table I do not know, but among my select memories are those occasions when I was there, never to forget those wonderful meals, and especially those superb mincemeat pies as only Charlotte can make.
Walter was a loving, loveable man. He loved the church. He loved the Lord who gave Himself for the church. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved children in a way that made me think of Jesus gathering little ones into His arms and blessing them, saying, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Walter loved to sing, using his God-gifted voice on hundreds and hundreds of occasions to untold people to their benefit in their sorrows and in their joys, and to the uplift and edification of the churches. When he sang, "More Like The Master I Would Ever Be", he took those words to heart and endeavored to be just that.
Walter was an appreciative man, thanking and commending people for services and tasks performed. Like Barnabas of old he was an exhorter, certainly an encouragement to me.
Paul, the apostle, said of himself, "For me to live is Christ". (Philippians 1:21) That's the way it was with Walter. That's the way it ought to be for you and me as well.
When names are inscribed in the rolls of people who lived and loved as people should live and love, the name of Walter Fagen will be there. May yours and mine join his.
Then there is the matter of death.
James asked, "What is your life?" and answered by saying, "It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
That "little time" for Walter has now come to an end. The fact of his death is on record. But I will ask, "How did he die?" And I will answer:
He died, illuminated in the bright shining light of eternal hope.
He died under the canopy of divine grace.
He died with a firm hold on the promise and the assurance of Jesus his Savior that since he was a faithful Christian he will be among them of whom Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 wrote, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall ever be with the Lord." That is the final episode for Christians from life to death to life again. And Walter is enrolled in that number.
And Paul correctly gives the honor and credit where they belong when he writes - "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians l5:57)
Victory! Did you notice that word?
Victory over death.
Victory that ushers in that endless life in the blissful, perfect, joyful realm of heaven in the assembly of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit, of the multitude of angels, with the redeemed of all the ages.
Victory brings jubilation.
Triumph and trophies go together.
Coronations and celebrations go together.
Christians are to be crowned, as it were, with what is called a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), with a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4), and with a crown of life (James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10).
With such crowning for the Christians, including Walter, who have gone on before us, is it not appropriate that this funeral service be in the nature of a celebration of that to which Walter has now attained?
Rejoice! And again I say unto thee, Rejoice!
How near is death to us, the living here and now? Just the distance of one single heart beat. Just the brief flutter of one fragile breath.
Then what? Here is the provisional outlook God has laid before us in John 3:16,17:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16,17)
And Jesus Himself said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16)
Let us use the power of our God-given choice to see it Jesus' way.
From Adam's day continues on
As many generations come,
Are here a while, and then are gone;
And this is true in families,
For certainly there comes a day
When first some one, then each and all,
With one last breath will pass away.
Now Walter lately has gone on,
No more among us to appear,
Yet we rejoice, f or where he is
All things are better there than here;
We praise our God who made that so,
And in our faith we clearly see
That death for one who is in Christ
Brings out faith's shout of victory.
Then let us walk in Walter's ways,
In life, in love, and even death,
Surrendered to the will of God
Unto our final earthly breath
That when God's peop1e, to the last,
Are each one safely gathered in
And Walter is among that throng
We, too, will join the ranks with him.
Gracious Heavenly Father -
Comfort the Fagen family in their sorrow in the wake of the earthly passing of their loved one.
Lift their vision by faith to see the heavenly gain their loved one has attained, and to rejoice in it.
Bless them, and all of us, to pursue a life of loyalty to Christ, that the same heavenly gain will be ours in the day of our passing.
In the Name of Jesus grant this to be.
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